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United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2-1-1 Contact Center celebrates 20 Years

“I, Nathan Deal, Governor of the State of Georgia, do hereby proclaim June 12, 2017, as 2-1-1 Day in Georgia and join in recognizing the individuals and families who have found stability after crisis or emergency.”  – 2-1-1 Day Proclamation issued by the State of Georgia

This week marks the 20th anniversary of United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2-1-1 Contact Center, a help line that connects families in need with community resources like food pantries, job search and placement agencies, and financial assistance. Resources can put food on tables, keep lights on or even provide clothes after a house fire. Help is provided so that all children, individuals, and families can be put on a path toward well-being.

United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2-1-1 was the nation’s first information and referral line and went onto become a model for cities across the country to support their citizens. And as of last year, 2-1-1 has responded to nearly 8 million people.

2-1-1 is a free, confidential service that’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 140 different languages. There are more than 5,000 resources in the regional 2-1-1 network database and trained Contact Center agents are able to provide information on services and referrals to programs aligned with specific needs. In addition, volunteers support the work of 2-1-1 by donating time, funds and resources to ensure that the Greater Atlanta is a community that can thrive.

2-1-1 has continued to grow and evolve over the years, using technology to form a deeper connection with the community. In 2011, 2-1-1 started the transformation from a call center to a contact center by offering live chat services through the 2-1-1 website. This allowed the community to independently search for its needs or chat live with a trained specialist.

At the beginning of 2014, text services were added. Today, 2-1-1 customers can reach 2-1-1 by phone, through the website, by chat, text, by app, and email 24/7/365.

We know that communities can’t thrive unless all children, individuals and families thrive. And it is through collective impact and working with agencies and other partners that we can improve the well-being of our families and communities. From the 5,000 agency partners, the agents in the contact center, and the volunteers that donate funds and resources, nothing does a better job at illustrating what collective impact means than 2-1-1.

For more information on 2-1-1, click here.

Chad Parker is the Director of Multimedia Content at United Way of Greater Atlanta.

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